"Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films."

Those were the wise words of Parasite director Bong Joon Ho as he accepted his Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language—and he makes a really good point. Not only have we developed an interest in Korean-language films, but also, we’ve been dipping our toes into the vast world of Indian cinema, with its compelling musical romances, mystery thrillers and poignant dramas (just to name a few genres). Given our newfound love of so many popular Bollywood titles (we’re looking at you, Sholay), we’ve been obsessively binging films to bring you 30 of the best Hindi movies on Amazon Prime right now.

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1. ‘The Lunchbox’ (2014)

This charming, feel-good drama centers on Saajan (Irrfan Khan) and Ila (Nimrat Kaur), two lonely people who develop an unlikely bond after a lunchbox delivery service mix-up. As they exchange secret notes throughout the film, we get more insight into their personal struggles and nuanced characters.

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2. ‘Unpaused’ (2020)

If there’s one good thing that came out of this COVID-19 pandemic, it’s all the brilliant films that it inspired. Among those titles is the Hindi anthology Unpaused, which centers on the lives of different characters who were impacted by it. The film tackles themes like loneliness, relationships, hope and new beginnings.

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3. ‘Shikara’ (2020)

Partly inspired by Rahul Pandita's memoir, Our Moon Has Blood Clots, Shikara follows the love story of Kashmiri Pandit couple, Shanti (Sadia Khateeb) and Shiv Dhar (Aadil Khan), during the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits—a number of violent anti-Hindu attacks that took place after the insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir during the ‘90s.

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4. ‘Kai Po Che!’ (2013)

Prepare to grab some tissues, because this powerful tale of friendship is incredibly moving. Set in Ahmedabad during the 2002 Gujarat Riots, this film tells the story of three ambitious friends, Ishaan (Sushant Singh Rajput), Omi (Amit Sadh) and Govind (Rajkummar Rao), who dream of creating their own sports academy. However, politics and communal violence challenge their relationship.

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5. ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ (2018)

Which matters more: Following your heart or following family tradition? This very question is the central theme of this romance film, which follows two young Indians who meet and fall in love while traveling abroad. Though Raj (Shah Rukh Khan) tries to convince Simran's (Kajol) family to allow their marriage, Simran's father insists that she fulfill his wish for her to marry his friend's son.

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6. ‘Section 375’ (2019)

Based on Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code laws, this thought-provoking courtroom drama follows a case where Rohan Khurana (Rahul Bhat), a famous Bollywood director, faces rape accusations from his female employee. From powerful performances to sharp dialogue, this will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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7. ‘Hichki’ (2019)

In this inspiring adaptation of Brad Cohen's autobiography, Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had, Rani Mukerji stars as Ms. Naina Mathur, who struggles to land a teaching position due to her having Tourette syndrome. After facing countless rejections, she finally gets a chance to prove herself at the prestigious St. Notker's School, where she has to teach a group of unruly students.

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8. ‘Maqbool’ (2004)

In this Bollywood adaptation of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, we follow Miyan Maqbool (Irrfan Khan), a loyal follower of Mumbai's most notorious underworld crime lord, Jahangir Khan (Pankaj Kapur). But when his true love persuades him to murder Khan and take his place, both are haunted by his ghost.

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9. ‘Karwaan’ (2018)

Avinash, an unhappy man who feels stuck at his dead-end job, is thrown a major curveball when he learns that his controlling father has passed away. After hearing this news, he and his friend embark on a long journey from Bengaluru to Kochi, picking up a young teen along the way. Get ready for a powerful storyline and some beautiful scenery.

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10. ‘Thappad’ (2020)

When Amrita Sandhu's husband, Vikram Sabharwal, strikes her in front of everyone at a party, he refuses to take accountability and her guests encourage her to just "move on." But Amrita, feeling shaken, takes this is a sign that she should get out and protect herself. What ensues is a bitter divorce and a custody battle for her unborn child.

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11. ‘Newton’ (2017)

As India gets ready for their next general election, Newton Kumar (Rajkummar Rao), a government clerk is tasked with running an election in a remote village. But this proves to be challenging, given the lack of support from security forces and the persistent threats of communist rebels.

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12. ‘Shakuntala Devi’ (2020)

Ladies in STEM will especially enjoy this fun, biographical drama. It depicts the life of famous mathematician Shakuntala Devi, who was actually nicknamed the "human computer." Though it highlights her impressive career, the film also offers an intimate look at her life as a free-spirited mom.

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13. ‘The Ghazi Attack’ (2017)

Based on the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, this war film explores the mysterious sinking of the PNS Ghazi submarine. In this fictionalized version of events, the Pakistani craft tries to destroy the INS Vikrant, but their mission is halted when they get an unexpected visitor.

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14. ‘Bajirao Mastani’ (2015)

Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra star in this epic romance, which earned several accolades, including seven National Film Awards. It details the tumultuous love story between Maratha Peshwa Bajirao I (Singh) and his second wife, Mastani (Padukone). Chopra, who portrays the first wife, gives a solid performance in this film.

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15. ‘Raazi’ (2018)

Based on Harinder Sikka's 2008 novel Calling Sehmat, this fascinating spy thriller follows the true account of a 20-year-old Research and Analysis Wing agent who goes undercover as the wife of a Pakistani military officer to relay information to India. Can she keep her cover while falling in love with her source, er, husband?

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16. ‘Mitron’ (2018)

Jai (Jackky Bhagnani) is content with his mediocre, easygoing lifestyle—but his father certainly isn’t. In a desperate attempt to bring stability to his son’s life, he decides to get Jai a wife. But things take an unexpected turn when Jai crosses paths with the ambitious MBA graduate, Avni (Kritika Kamra).

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17. ‘Tumbbad’ (2018)

Not only is it packed with suspense, but this film includes a pretty powerful message about happiness and greed. Set in the village of Tumbbad, Vinayak (Sohum Shah) is on the hunt for a valuable hidden treasure, but there’s something sinister that guards this fortune.

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18. ‘Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety’ (2018)

Sonu Sharma (Kartik Aaryan), a hopeless romantic, is forced to choose between his cynical best friend and girlfriend when he falls head over heels for a woman who seems too good to be true. Expect all the funny one-liners.

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19. ‘Gully Boy’ (2019)

Who doesn't love a poignant coming-of-age story? Follow Murad Ahmed (Ranveer Singh) as he strives to make it as a street rapper in the slums of Mumbai. Fun fact: It made history by winning a record 13 Filmfare Awards in 2020.

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20. ‘Agent Sai’ (2020)

Agent Sai is in for quite the adventure when he begins to investigate the appearance of an unidentified corpse near a train track. From shocking twists to punchy dialogue, Agent Sai won’t disappoint.

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21. ‘Balta House’ (2019)

Based on the Batla House encounter case from 2008 (a Delhi Police operation that involved arresting a group of terrorists hiding in a Batla home), the action thriller chronicles the entire operation and its aftermath, including Officer Sanjay Kumar's (John Abraham) efforts to catch the fugitives.

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22. ‘War’ (2019)

Khalid (Tiger Shroff), an Indian soldier with a dark past, is given the chance to prove his loyalty when he's tasked with eliminating his former mentor, who has gone rogue. The critically acclaimed film became the highest-grossing bollywood film in 2019 and, to this day, is considered one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time.

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23. ‘Gold’ (2018)

Brush up on some history with this insightful and incredibly inspiring true story of India’s first Olympic gold medal. The Reema Kagti-directed feature centers on India's first national hockey team and their journey to the 1948 Summer Olympics. Mouni Roy, Amit Sadh, Vineet Kumar Singh and Kunal Kapoor star in this compelling film.

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24. ‘Udaan’ (2020)

Suriya, Paresh Rawal and Mohan Babu star in this Amazon Prime original, which is based on Captain Gopinath's book Simply Fly: A Deccan Odyssey. The film details the fascinating story of how, with the help of friends and family, he grew to become the owner of an airline that makes flying more affordable.

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25. ‘Baabul’ (2006)

When Balraj Kapoor (Amitabh Bachchan) loses his son in an unfortunate accident, he tries to urge Millie (Rani Mukerji), his widowed daughter-in-law, to move on with a childhood friend who has secretly loved her for years. Fair warning, there are a few tearjerker moments, so keep the tissues handy.

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26. ‘Jab We Met’ (2007)

Feeling depressed after his partner breaks up with him, Aditya (Shahid Kapoor), a successful businessman, decides to hop on a random train without a destination in mind. But during his journey, he meets a chipper young woman named Geet (Kareena Kapoor). Due to an unfortunate turn of events, both are left stranded in the middle of nowhere, and Aditya finds himself falling for this charming girl. The only problem? She already has a boyfriend.

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27. ‘Phir Milenge’ (2004)

Tamanna Sahni (Shilpa Shetty) rekindles an old romance with her college sweetheart, Rohit (Salman Khan) during a school reunion. But after their brief affair, when she tries to donate blood to her sister, she’s shocked to discover that she has tested positive for HIV. The film does a phenomenal job of tackling a number of important issues, from the HIV-related stigma to workplace discrimination.

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28. ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun’ (1994)

If you're big on colorful dance numbers, Hindu wedding rituals and swoon-worthy romances, definitely add this to your list. This romantic drama follows a young couple as they navigate married life and relationships with their families.

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29. ‘Pakeezah’ (1972)

This classic Indian film is essentially a love letter to director Kamal Amrohi's wife, Meena Kumari, who stars as the protagonist. Sahibjaan (Kumari) longs to find true love and escape the cycle of prostitution—and her wish is granted when she meets and falls for a forest ranger. Unfortunately, his parents aren’t very supportive of their relationship.

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30. ‘Sholay’ (1975)

Often regarded as one of the most legendary Indian films, this western adventure follows a retired police officer, who works with two thieves in order to capture a dacoit who has been terrorizing the village. From its intriguing plot twists to the lively dance numbers, it’s easy to see why this is one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time.

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